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A brief intervention changing oral self-care, self-efficacy, and self-monitoring.

Ralf Schwarzer, Agata Antoniuk, Maryam Gholami

British journal of health psychology [20:56-67] (2015)

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The roles of self-efficacy and self-monitoring as proximal predictors of dental flossing frequency are studied in the context of an oral health intervention. A study among 287 university students, aged 19 to 26 years, compared an intervention group that received a brief self-regulatory treatment, with a passive and an active control group. Dental flossing, self-efficacy, and self-monitoring were assessed at baseline and 3 weeks later. The intervention led to an increase in dental flossing regardless of experimental condition. However, treatment-specific gains were documented for self-efficacy and self-monitoring. Moreover, changes in the latter two served as mediators in a path model, linking the intervention with subsequent dental flossing and yielding significant indirect effects. Self-efficacy and self-monitoring play a mediating role in facilitating dental flossing. Interventions that aim at an improvement in oral self-care should consider using these constructs. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? The adoption and maintenance of oral self-care can be facilitated by a number of social-cognitive variables. Interventions that include planning, action control, or self-efficacy components have been shown to improve dental flossing. In one recent study on flossing in adolescent girls, planning intervention effects were mediated by self-efficacy. What does this study add? Self-monitoring is associated with better oral self-care. A 10-min intervention improves self-efficacy and self-monitoring. Self-efficacy and self-monitoring operate as mediators between treatment and flossing.


The use of a mobile app to motivate evidence-based oral hygiene behaviour.

Underwood, Birdsall B, Kay J

British dental journal [219:166-7] (2015)

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Mobile apps are software programmes that run on smartphones and other mobile devices. Mobile health apps can help people manage their own health and wellness, promote healthy living and gain access to useful information when and where they need it. The Brush DJ oral health app was developed to use the opportunity mobile apps offer to motivate an evidence-based oral hygiene routine. A literature review has found no research investigating the use of a mobile app to motivate evidence-based oral hygiene behaviour. The objective of this preliminary investigation was to assess user perception of an oral health app to give a basis for future research and development of app technology in relation to oral health. A cross-sectional qualitative user perception questionnaire. One hundred and eighty-nine people responded to the questionnaire. Seventy percent (n = 113) of respondents reported that their teeth felt cleaner since using the app. Eighty-eight percent (n = 133) reported the app motivated them to brush their teeth for longer and 92.3% (n = 144) would recommend the app to their friends and family. Four broad themes relating to how the app helped toothbrushing were reported. These themes were motivation, education, compliance and perceived benefits. A mobile app is a promising tool to motivate an evidence-based oral hygiene routine.


An oral care self-management support protocol (OrCaSS) to reduce oral mucositis in hospitalized patients with acute myeloid leukemia and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a randomized controlled pilot study.

Lynn Leppla, Sabina De Geest, Katharina Fierz, Barbara Deschler-Baier, Antje Koller

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer [24:773-82] (2016)

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Oral mucositis (OM) is a common and debilitating side effect of chemoradiotherapy in patients awaiting allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT). The aim of this pilot RCT was to compare an oral care self-management support protocol (OrCaSS) to usual pre-aHSCT care. Feasibility was tested, effect sizes calculated for OM (primary outcome), and patient adherence was measured (secondary outcome). Eighteen AML patients awaiting aHSCT and hospitalized between August 2012 and April 2013 were randomized 1:1 to usual care (UCG) and intervention (IG) groups. The OrCaSS protocol consisted of two sessions of educational and behavioral interventions, the first delivered 1 week pre-admission (T1), the second on admission day (T2). Via field notes, practicability and acceptability were evaluated to explore the feasibility of intervention and study procedures. OM data were collected at T1, T2, and daily for 28 days using the WHO scale. The effect size r was calculated (r less than -0.1 ≙ small and greater than or equal to -0.3 ≙ medium). Patients' adherence to the protocol was assessed at T1, T2, and 8-10 days post-HSCT (T3). Research and intervention procedures were feasible. OM incidence was 100 %. The IG's median highest OM grade was 2.0 (IQR = 2); the UCGs was 3.0 (IQR = 2; r = -0.1). Median OM durations were 12 days in the IG and 14 days in the UCG (r = -0.1). OM onset was 2 days later in the IG than in the UCG (r = -0.1). Over the course of the study, patient adherence decreased in both groups. OrCaSS is a promising intervention to delay and reduce OM. These results can serve to plan a larger RCT.


Train the trainer? A randomized controlled trial of a multi-tiered oral health education programme in community-based residential services for adults with intellectual disability.

Giolla Mac, Caoimhin Phadraig, Suzanne Guerin, June Nunn

Community dentistry and oral epidemiology [41:182-92] (2013)

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To assess the impact of a multi-tiered oral health education programme on care staff caring for people with intellectual disability (ID). Postal questionnaires were sent to all care staff of a community-based residential care service for adults, randomly assigned to control and intervention groups. A specifically developed training programme was delivered to residential staff nominees, who then trained all staff within the intervention group. The control group received no training. Post-test questionnaires were sent to both groups. Paired-samples t-test was used to compare oral health-related knowledge (K) and behaviour, attitude and self-efficacy (BAS) scores. Of the initial 219 respondents, 154 (response rate between 40% and 35.8%, with attrition rate of 29.7% from baseline to repeat) returned completed questionnaires at post-test (M=8.5 months, range=6.5-11 months). Control and intervention groups were comparable for general training, employment and demographic variables. In the intervention group, mean Knowledge Index score rose from K=7.2 to K=7.9 (P<0.001) and mean BAS scale score rose from BAS=4.7 to BAS=5.4 (P<0.001). There was no statistically significant increase in mean scores from test (K=7.0, BAS=4.7) to post-test (K=7.2, BAS=4.9) for the control group. Mean scores regarding knowledge, attitude, self-efficacy and reported behaviour increased significantly at 8.5 months in staff where training was provided. The results indicate that a multi-tiered training programme improved knowledge, attitude, self-efficacy and reported behaviour amongst staff caring for people with ID.


Using intervention mapping to develop a home-based parental-supervised toothbrushing intervention for young children.

K Gray-Burrows, P Day, Z Marshman, E Aliakbari, S Prady, R McEachan

Implementation science : IS [11:61] (2016)

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Dental caries in young children is a major public health problem impacting on the child and their family in terms of pain, infection and substantial financial burden on healthcare funders. In the UK, national guidance on the prevention of dental caries advises parents to supervise their child's brushing with fluoride toothpaste until age 7. However, there is a dearth of evidence-based interventions to encourage this practice in parents. The current study used intervention mapping (IM) to develop a home-based parental-supervised toothbrushing intervention to reduce dental caries in young children. The intervention was developed using the six key stages of the IM protocol: (1) needs assessment, including a systematic review, qualitative interviews, and meetings with a multi-disciplinary intervention development group; (2) identification of outcomes and change objectives following identification of the barriers to parental-supervised toothbrushing (PSB), mapped alongside psychological determinants outlined in the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF); (3) selection of methods and practical strategies; (4) production of a programme plan; (5) adoption and implementation and (6) Evaluation. The comprehensive needs assessment highlighted key barriers to PSB, such as knowledge, skills, self-efficacy, routine setting and behaviour regulation and underlined the importance of individual, social and structural influences. Parenting skills (routine setting and the ability to manage the behaviour of a reluctant child) were emphasised as critical to the success of PSB. The multi-disciplinary intervention development group highlighted the need for both universal and targeted programmes, which could be implemented within current provision. Two intervention pathways were developed: a lower cost universal pathway utilising an existing national programme and an intensive targeted programme delivered via existing parenting programmes. A training manual was created to accompany each intervention to ensure knowledge and standardise implementation procedures. PSB is a complex behaviour and requires intervention across individual, social and structural levels. IM, although a time-consuming process, allowed us to capture this complexity and allowed us to develop two community-based intervention pathways covering both universal and targeted approaches, which can be integrated into current provision. Further research is needed to evaluate the acceptability and sustainability of these interventions.


A Brief Self-Regulatory Intervention Increases Dental Flossing in Adolescent Girls.

Maryam Gholami, Nina Knoll, Ralf Schwarzer

International journal of behavioral medicine [22:645-51] (2015)

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Oral diseases such as dental caries, periodontal disease, and tooth loss are a considerable public health problem. A review of the epidemiological data from many countries indicates that a global increase in dental caries prevalence affects children as well as adults. Despite the improvement in oral health of children in the last few decades, tooth decay remains one of the most common childhood diseases in both industrialized and developing countries. The study evaluates the effects of a self-regulatory intervention to increase dental flossing among adolescents and examines the mediating mechanisms underlying behavioral changes. A cluster randomized controlled trial compared a brief intervention arm with a control arm in 166 girls aged 11-15 years. Planning, self-efficacy, and behavioral intention were specified as mediators between treatment conditions and follow-up dental flossing frequency. At baseline, the intervention group received theory-guided materials on oral hygiene. Four weeks later, changes in behavior and social-cognitive variables were assessed. The brief self-regulatory intervention led to an increase in dental flossing and social-cognitive constructs. A sequential mediator model was identified in which first changes in intention and afterwards changes in self-efficacy mediated between treatment conditions and behavioral outcomes. Intention formation and self-efficacy seem to play an instrumental role in the mechanism that facilitates dental flossing among adolescent girls. Oral self-care interventions should consider the application of intention formation strategies combined with building confidence in one's ability to adhere to the regimen.